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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Saturday, February 11, 2006

7 Questions

To all my muslim readers, I noticed that some of you always have the same questions and criticisms to me ever since that Cartoon Controversy started and especially after the Al Fagr discovery. Since I am lazy and tired of answering the same questions over and over again, I decided to provide you all with the answers to your questions right here, so I can just refer you and any future questioner to this post instead of typing the same stuff over and over again. There we go:

You are showing these cartoons out of context. Why don’t you translate what is written in those articles in arabic so that people can see what the newspaper had to say about this?

Gladly. The title on the first page says: "Cartoons used to mock the Prophet and his wives", while the inside article with the cartoons says "the vile act still continues". It’s an article that condemns the printing of the cartoons, and mentions the story behind them, and reports on how it’s another example of the west’s campaign to attack Islam. They also did that during Ramadan.

Ok, satisfied? We happy? Still doesn’t make a difference. The point is that those cartoons were published in a widely circulated Egyptian newspaper, during Ramadan, and no one said shit. No one mentioned it anywhere. No one condemned anything. And don’t tell me it’s because that paper isn’t widely circulated. I had a copy at home by coincidence, Freedom For Egyptians had one too, and I am sure many many other people bought that paper and said nothing, by proof of the fact that no one ever scanned those cartoons off of that newspaper and sent it out in the gazillion e-mails that were forwarded in regards of that issue.

But let’s say that no one read it, or not enough people read it. Well, let me refer you to the argument of the IT Guy in my company, one of the biggest forwarder of the “support the prophet” e-mails and someone who was truly enraged by the discovery that those cartoons were published in Egypt last October. I tried to calm him down by saying that it was Ramadan, and people were probably not concentrating because of the fasting and therefore didn't pay attention that such a thing got printed and he said “But Adel Hamoudah is very known. What? No other Newspapers read his newspaper? Not a single Newspaper editor in Egypt read this? No one in Al Ahram or Al Akhbar saw this and thought that this was wrong. That this was an issue that should be addressed in their newspapers as well? How could they get printed and no one says anything? How is that possible?”

I didn’t know how to answer his question. I told him that my best guess was that they must have thought it wasn’t a news worthy story. That didn’t calm him down one bit though.

But You continue to miss the point that they printed those cartoons in order to inform us of the great insult to the prophet the newspaper was making. Do you see now why the fact that they are published is not indicative of anything?

No, actually, they are indicative of a lot. The People who are behind this “outrage” are not saying that it’s Haram (forbidden) to make cartoons mocking or making fun of the prophet; They are saying it’s Haram to do any kind of illustration of the prophet in any context, period. That includes, in their eyes, any image of the prophet that was made, printed, copied, re-copied for any purpose or reason. Any such image is Haram, regardless of whether their intent is to mock or inform. Ask any Imam you would like on this, he will tell you that I am correct.

This is why none of the Egyptian newspapers who reported on this story ever showed the cartoons in their pages. Hell, that’s the reason why not a single arab newspaper showed those cartoons either, instead opting for the “Hallal” choice of just describing them to people. The Majority of the people who got outraged over this and boycotted Denmark never even saw those cartoons to begin with. They just heard that Denmark showed a cartoon that portrayed the prophet and showed him as a terrorist, and that’s all it took for them to go nuts with the whole thing.

So, for Al Fagr to print it, and on the front page, during Ramadan nonetheless, is an offense worthy of having at least an apology by Adel Hamoudah, not to mention just a little outrage, if not a Fatwa on his ass by some of our Fatwa-happy clerics. None of this happened then, none of this is happening now, even with Al Fagr admitting that they did print the cartoon back then. And THAT's my point and the point of every person who considered this as ultimate proof of the hypocrisy of the whole crisis and how this whole thing was instigated for political purposes from the beginning, with the muslim worldwide population falling for it.

You must be a Christian or a Jew. You can not be a Muslim. What’s your religion?

Ahh, that infamous question. I bow down to your superior intellectual deductive reasoning that revealed my cover. Nope. Sorry. Hate to disappoint you, but I am muslim, my Mother is Muslim, my Father is Muslim, and my whole Family is Muslim. But while we are at it, do you realize how stupid this criticism tactic makes you look? So like, if a someone who had a valid criticism of Islam just happens to be a Christian, does that make his criticism any less valid? Is that what you are saying? Does that work the other way around? Does that mean that any Muslim who may have a valid criticism of Christianity or Judaism or any other religion should have his criticism discounted because he is muslim? Or am I not a muslim just because I don’t agree with YOU and YOUR POINT OF VIEW on everything in regards to Islam and Muslims? Last I checked, there was only one Prophet, and you are not him, so shut the hell up and stop using this stupid argument! You are making yourself look like an idiot!

But don’t you see that you are hurting the cause of Islam by doing this and helping its enemies attack it? Don’t you get how badly viewed muslims in Europe are?

Actually, I am aiding the cause of Islam by what I am doing more than anything you’ve ever done. Most of you do more damage to the image of Islam with your irrationality, emotional outbursts, retarded boycott movements, and rioting than any cartoon ever did or could hope to do. I , and the people who are like me, present to the west an alternative view of the muslims than the one they are used to see. I don’t even want to count how man e-mails I have gotten from Danish people thanking me for being a force of rationality in this debate, apologizing for anything they have ever done to offend us, and wondering why the muslims the world over are boycotting the whole country of Denmark and burning its flags and embassies. They would ask me :”Don’t they know that we support the arab causes? Don’t they know that we support the Palestinian cause? That we provide them with aid and stick up for them politically? Why are they burning our flags and threatening our people?”. Imagine when you have to answer them with: “Well, ehh..one of your newspapers made a cartoon of the prophet that really offended them!” Get mad at them all you want, but the Danes did not deserve this and it was wrong to punish them all for what a newspaper there did. They know this, and if people like me did not exist, they would think that all the Muslims and arabs in the world are of the kind that makes up those demonstrations the world over.

And speaking of those morons, please answer me that: Who hurts the cause of Islam more- Me, or people who chant “Bin Laden, explode Copenhagen? And concerning how the muslims in Europe are presented, well, with people like these demonstrating for the prophet, and not a single muslim counter-demonstrating them, what are they supposed to think? I mean, do you understand that Europe may have a good reason to be mad at its muslim population? That maybe the fact that they had bomb attacks in Spain and Britian, and almost had the city of Paris torched down may make them just a little, I don’t know, peeved at muslims? That maybe when they see signs saying “Butcher those who mock Islam”, “Prepare for the real Holocaust”, and “Europe, your 9/11 is on its way!” and guys dressed up as a suicide bombers in a demonstration decrying those cartoons, just maybe, they would think that muslims are crazy violent people? Who hurts the image and cause of Islam more, me or them?

But surely, as a muslim, you want Islamic principles to exist and spread in the west as well, no?

Ehh, sure, when we set an example of by following and spreading the Islamic religion’s principles in the middle-east first. Let me elaborate by telling you a story.

I was sitting with one of the Islamic scholars that goes and tries to spread Islam in the west. A really well educated old guy with perfect English and everything. He told me that in his last trip he went with a group of muslim scholars to spread the religion, they formed a Seminar on Islam, where they presented the usual Islamic marketing points: Islam is the religion of Peace, Islam is the religion of Knowledge, Islam is the religion of Democracy, etc etc… It was all going well until the Q&A segment of their seminar and then the questions started.

The first question was if Islam was the religion of peace, how do they explain all the conflicts the world over that Islam is a party in, to which they responded with the usual “Every conflict is different and sectarian conflicts are not exclusive to Islam, e.g. Northern Ireland” response. So then they were asked but how would they explain all the terrorist attacks and killing of civilians that goes on in the name of Islam, and they responded by saying “that it was an extremist minority, that every religion has its fanatics and that its wrong to judge the religion by that minority’s actions”. So far, so good, right? And then the next question came:

“You guys say that Islam is the religion of Knowledge and that it encourages seeking knowledge and science. Can you tell us how many Nobel prize winners in the past 100 years were muslims or came from muslim countries?” They couldn’t answer. Then the next question came “ You say that Islam is the religion of democracy. Can you tell us how many Islamic countries in the world that are democracies?” And the Imams were like “Shit!”. He told me that they couldn’t answer, that they were cornered and their argument defeated by the behavior of muslims worldwide. He lamented that naturally those people wouldn’t believe that Islam is the religion of all those things, when almost none of the muslim countries employ those principles themselves. I mean, how could they?

So yeah, I say let’s show those Islamic tenets of tolerance, peace, knowledge and democracy in our countries first, and then try to export it outside. Trust me on this, you would get much better results by leading by example than postelizing ideas that almost no one in the Islamic world implements. Do that first, then move it to Europe, ok?

Surely you agree that the religious beliefs of people need to be respected by society and by law from being mocked in such an offensive way?

No, actually I don’t agree to that at all. Let me quote Andrew Sullivan here and say “that a self-confident faith is not this defensive and touchy. It can and must brush off provocation, or be consumed by it. It’s that simple. Islam should expect to get ridiculed, mocked and provoked by its critics and enemies alike, and it should respond in kind, i.e. dialogue, not by killing those who disagree with it.

But I do like that proposal of having people’s religious beliefs respected by all societies by law. I propose we do implement it immediately when it comes to Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Right this minute.

I also call in the name of tolerance for all cow-worshipping Hindus (the hundreds of millions of them) that we cease eating cow meat, cheese, the abomination called the cheeseburger, Leather products of all kind, and any cartoons depicting cows in any way or shape. And for that to happen in every country in the world, especially muslim countries, in the name of tolerance and understanding. While we are at it, I demand the same rights extended to the scientologists, all 10 million of them, by never making fun of our aliens from space ancestors in any way ever again. Movies such as war of the worlds and Independence day should be burned, their stars heavily reprimanded, and the President of the USA should apologize for them. Especially War of the Worlds. And while we are at it, behead Tom cruise, who is a scientologist who starred in such a blasphemous movie. Hell, behead him anyway. And please, let's not forget the 10 million Pastafarians, those who worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster and were touched by his noodely appendages, and tolerate their views as well by burning down the Ramen noodles factories all over the world, banning all kinds of pasta from ever getting eaten or having spaghetti lampooned in any way, shape or form because this is blasphemous to their beliefs. And again I call for that to happen in every country in the world, especially muslim countries, in the name of tolerance and understanding. I also call upon all the muslims who demand such special treatment from Europe to lead by example on this whole thing!

Now do you get why we can’t do that? Why once we start bending free speech in the name of tolerance and understanding of one religion, we will have to accommodate all religions the same way? That the moment we start drawing red lines for sensitivity’s sake for one faith, we would have to do that for all faiths, even the incredibly ridiculous ones? Do you understand why we can’t compromise on freedom of speech in the name of sensitivity for people’s beliefs? Do you get it?

Fine Mr. Smart ass, what should we do next time someone does that? Just sit there and take it while they insult our beliefs and attack our Prophet?

I didn’t say that, although ignoring them is certainly a valid option, especially if you know that you are on the right side of the issue. As I have previously mentioned, this sensitivity shows a serious lack of confidence in Islam , its prophet and its message. Not to mention, it’s insulting to think that a Prophet exalted by god could get tarnished or mocked by a cartoon.

Anyway, let’s ignore that for a minute and give you guys alternatives, but only after you agree that 1) boycotting a whole country because a Newspaper in it published an offensive cartoon is stupid because you punish the innocent majority with the offending minority, and 2) No matter how pissed off you may be, you should never bomb churches, burn embassies or kill people over such an offense. It’s not a good idea.

Now, for the alternative solutions:

1) The Ahmad solution:

In the spirit of the life of the Prophet, here are 5 ways how the Muslim world could have responded the the Danish cartoons:

1. Apply to the Ministry of Culture in Denmark to organize a big exhibition about the Life of Prophet Mohammad and Islamic History. The Saudi and other Arab governments would finance this event and promote it in a big way in the Danish media. 2. Invite 100 Danish children to come and live with Arab and Muslim families to learn about life in today’s Arab and Muslim world. 3. Invite the editors of the Danish newspaper to a well publicized cultural debate in Doha, Qatar or Copenhagen. 4. The embassies of Arab and Muslim nations could commission a website in Danish about Islam, contemporary muslim thinkers and life in today’s Islamic world. A dedicated staff would respond to incoming questions and request for information. 5. Subtitle the movie ‘The Message’ in Danish and try to get many movie theaters and cultural centers in Denmark to show it.

This solution is good because it addresses the issue at hand: the misrepresentation of the Prophet, and handles it in a very decent, and civilized way. It also addresses the serious flaw that all of these people who are losing it and demanding an apology from the PM of Denmark are missing: That any apology they will get now will not be an acknowledgment of error in the insult to the prophet’s image, but rather a response to calm you crazy people down. It’s like me calling you names and only apologizing once a gun is pointed towards my head: It’s not sincere, and I am only doing it to get you not to kill me. That’s not Respect, that’s fear, and that’s not what you want. You want people to respect Islam and not fear it. For you people I say Ahmad’s solution is the way to go.

But since not all of you are that nice and civilized, and you would like those who insulted the prophet to be punished, there are other meaner ways to getting back at them and they are coming right ahead.

2) The Legal action solution: This is the one where you sue the publication that printed those cartoons that insulted you. You sue the hell out of them, and you sue them everywhere you could. You sue them in Denmark, all over the EU, and in all over the Arab countries if you could. Sue them for Libel, for racism against Islam, for emotional distress, for irrevocable emotional damages, for anything you could. Drain them financially by having all their money going to Lawyers. Hit them where it hurts: their wallets.

Not only will that solution provide you your revenge, it will ensure that the Newspaper, or anyone else who heard of it, would do such a thing again out of fear of such an onslaught of lawsuits. You win by peacefully and civilly taking out those- and only those- who offended you and the Prophet, with no worldwide damage to the image of Islam, any place burned or any people dead.

3) The economic terrorism solution: This is the solution where you open up that Newspaper that offended you so much, and you see who advertises in it and write down a list of those companies. You then research those companies, and find out where they are located and who their President is. Afterwards you send that information out to all the people like you that you know, and start a letter writing campaign to all of those companies informing them that you were so offended by the cartoon/article/whatever in the Newspaper, call it racist, and inform the company that if they continue buying ad space there, that you would have to consider it racist as well, and thus not going to buy its products anymore. Send that same letter/e-mail to all the companies who advertise there, and make sure that everyone you know that thinks like you does the same. Make a press conference that announces what you are doing to get publicity for it and get the word out, and then watch in 2 weeks as said publication declares bankruptcy as you are toasting victory with your non-alcoholic champagne.

This solution understands that any form of media relies on advertisement as a major source for their income. It’s what keeps them going and covers their expenses, and if no one advertised there anymore, they would go out of business. It’s what the conservatives in the US do when they see something on the media that pisses them off, and it works. Not to mention, imagine the amount of readership the newspaper would lose once it gets the reputation of being racist. There is no way out of it for them, you would get your revenge, and afterwards no one in the media will attempt to put something in their newspapers that pisses you off ever again. And if one does, repeat the process as necessary. Soon you won’t have to anymore.

And that is all Folks. If you read this far, then you are a hero. Now at least leave a comment so I can know who you are.

118 Comments:

At 2/11/2006 08:57:00 AM, Anonymous Einherjar said...

I've nothing to add, I'm just leaving a comment as requested.

I'm your average 21 year old Norwegian reader, I came by link to the "Stop being retarded" post when that was new, and have been making daily visits ever since.

 
At 2/11/2006 09:01:00 AM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

That's really good and all SM but heres the problem..This is the halal way to deal with things.. Get them to actually read this and follow it..Don't forget they won't listen to you..You infidel you..

These people that had those signs and chant for bin laden to blow things up wont give anyone the time of day to reason with em..They believe they are right no matter what..

This is what our Imam's should be saying at Gumma prayers..Hell if they all offered peace and calm these people's asses down a bit..I swear I would go to Every Friday prayer..This is why people are fed up with Islam because they tell people in other countries what they want to hear and they don't practice what they preach. You hit the nail on the head when you said "let’s show those Islamic tenet of tolerance, peace, knowledge and democracy in our countries first, and then try to export it outside"..Why didn't they make a fatwa to deal with this issue peacefully.

Even if this thing was all politically motivated where was our Islamic leaders? I would really like to know?

How can muslims that live outside an Islamic country defend Islam and answer for these actions?

 
At 2/11/2006 09:02:00 AM, Blogger Papa Ray said...

Hey,

Great post SM. I know this must be wearing thin with you. Its good that you have the ability to express yourself and the courage to do so.

But, I have to tell you that I, in my not so humble opinion, think you are wasting your time and efforts. Again I admire you for keeping on keeping on and maybe I'm wrong and you can get through to a few people and change their minds (but most important, change their actions).

But, (there is that word again) I think that the basic hold that your religious leaders have over the great majority of the public (world wide) is too great, and that their message regarding unbelievers is not one of co-existance, tolerance and brotherly love.

Now if those same religious leaders had your message (and really believed it), change would come and the world would be a much better place.

But you know deep down in your heart that they will never change their teachings or their sermons.

At least not willingly. Why? Because Islam is the only one true religion and the Qur'an is The Book of Allah, the one and only G-D.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

 
At 2/11/2006 09:04:00 AM, Blogger Dih said...

Nothing to add here either. Just leaving the comment as previous poster.

I'm your 30 years old Finnish reader, and started to follow you after this Buy Danish campaign. I actually take some interest in all things free (free speech, free trade, freedom, etc.). I think the whole debacle has been quite silly.

 
At 2/11/2006 09:07:00 AM, Anonymous Michael, Denmark said...

Hey SandMonkey,

Great post! I'm with you all the way and I'm glad to see that muslims/arabs like you actually exist!! Do most of your friends feel the same way about things or is it just you? Percentage of moderate muslims in Egypt?

Anyways, keep up the good work!!

Take care!
Michael, Denmark.

 
At 2/11/2006 09:13:00 AM, Anonymous Blower said...

First, what do you do for living?! I am impressed of you being able to write daily and in detail in your blog. You must have enough free time or you are so good in writing.

Although I don't like the way you experss your anger and the fact that you are one-sided in your argument but I have to agree with you in many of your principles and points and I understand what is your ultimate goal.

I can see through the today's news that the anger of the Muslim world is making the relation between the Denmark and Muslims closer and stronger...something which we are all looking for!

I think this incident will urge the scholars around the world to study the freedom of experssion deeply but this time not against the insulting of individuls which is a crime under most legal systems (defamation) but also against insulting believes and religions.

 
At 2/11/2006 09:17:00 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Great job, Sandmonkey!! There is hope yet. I've always believed that young Muslims educated in the West will be the vanguard of better things to come in the Islamic world. Keep on keeping on, my friend!!! Maybe you can help achieve some of your suggestions in the real world, not just in cyberspace.

For the newcomers who have commented here. Sandmonkey is one of the best. I'm glad you've found him.

 
At 2/11/2006 09:29:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

You can tell them that it is people like you, Sandmonkey, who make me doubt that Islam is simply evil.

It is people like you who make me consider Islam as a religion on par with Christianity and Judaism. And it is people like you who make me think that there is hope for the middle-east and that any peace agreement would not necessarily have to rely on fences and walls protecting non-Arab peoples from their neighbours.

You are one of the best representatives Islam has.

It is out of respect for you and those like you that I still respect Islam as a religion and a culture.

 
At 2/11/2006 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarcastic, witty, and right on. A+

Although, it would not surprise me if your Muslim readers who emailed you with those questions didn't read this entire post. I can't help but wonder about their reasoning skills.

The amount of time and energy people like you invest in explaining these simple concepts to others is commendable.


jonas

 
At 2/11/2006 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just your average israeli reader who loves reading a sane reaction to the "peaceful protests"

as well as your other comments...bringing a sane view to an world verging on insanity

steve

 
At 2/11/2006 09:41:00 AM, Blogger stefania said...

Sam, I think that you have the sacred right to say whatever you want about religious issues.

It's part of the unversal human rights.

I am noticing that there's a growing chorus of Secular muslims who are starting to speak out for MODERNITY, SECULARISM and END TO DARK AGES

So, you're not alone at all ! I may name names, but the list is long!

Just an example: Il Corriere della Sera's Magdi Allam. He was born in Egypt but is an Italian citizen since 30 years.

Unfortunately he is living accompained by bodyguards and he's continously derided and insulted for his pro-Western and absolutely secular positions.

He helps the Italian authorities to find the mosques preaching terror ( he says they're the majority in Italy )

He is accused to be an "apostate" and a "Copt" ( these idiots intend Copt as an insult ! ).

He's muslim as he claims, but he is a modern muslim.

This disturbs the fundamentalists so much that they label him with all the labels.

Yet, he keeps on say what he thinks.


You secularists will prevail sooner or later, as the Christian reformers prevailed over the Church lords did

Secularism does not mean to reject God. it means that religion is kept as a private matter, and practiced only in the churches and religious centers.

The lack of secularism is what keeps the Islamic world in the misery it is so far.

 
At 2/11/2006 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous effyourself said...

I'm no hero, but I did make it to the end of your post.

Just found your blog recently through 1000symphonies, and I've been enjoying it very much.

 
At 2/11/2006 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous Elora said...

Finally got the comments section to work, yay!

Terrific post. It is people like you that show what Islam -could- be to us outsiders, and hopefully will be one day.

I'll be making sure to guide as many as possible your way. Both extremist sides in this debate could certainly benefit from your sanity.

 
At 2/11/2006 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

"That's not Respect, that's fear, and that's not what you want. "____Unfortunately fear is exactly what the Islamists want. To the person who said it was a silly debacle, it is not. It has been a well organised and highly successful media campaign, getting massive coverage in all the news media. The message that any kind of cartoon or drawing of Mohammad will be the cause of threats and violence has reached millions who never thought about it before. In its way, this has been just as successful as 9/11 in making people scared of Islam. The aim is to step by step introduce Sharia Law into Europe, by making people too scared to resist it.

 
At 2/11/2006 10:50:00 AM, Blogger Highlander said...

Dear SM,

This is your first post regarding the topic of the anti-Islamic caricatures which is actually calmly reasoned, written and without profanity. At last !See when you make the effort it works without insulting anybody. Basically I only disagree with you on one point here. But I've said it so many times that it sounds like a broken record. So me not gonna repeat it again ;).
Good post!

 
At 2/11/2006 11:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But surely, as a muslim, you want Islamic principles to exist and spread in the west as well, no?"

I don't mean to be a dick, but I really, really, really don't want Islamic principles. Do most Muslims moving to the west think they are going to spread Islam across the entire world? Are Muslims in Europe alienated because they think everyone should be a muslim and are shocked to find that people in the west prefer to remain western?

 
At 2/11/2006 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I commend you for producing an argument that is lucid, well-reasoned and a pleasure to read.

If you ever find the need to change your name, I suggest SaneMonkey.

Arnie from USA

 
At 2/11/2006 11:24:00 AM, Anonymous Lena in Scandinavia said...

Have been following this blog some days after discovering it through a Swedish magazine online. Please note that many westerners people and media, at least Scandinavians, are actually and honestly trying to understand and learn from this cartoon buisness.

I´m impressed to hear a muslim wiew with hihg level of reason in it! Please keep on - especially in the not offensive tone of this latest blog, even though I thoroughly like the sarcasm - just don´t think your muslim fellows are culturally equipped to recognise and understand sarcasm!

I said it before: do unto others as you would have them do unto you!! You CANNOT spread peacful Islamic principles by using violence.

And after burning and killing and threatening, the extremist muslims are themselves the only ones that definitely makes the "world wide spreading of Islam" a scenario that will NEVER happen. Unless you count if they manage to blow up the rest of the world, which would make the surviving muslims universally in power - Oh yeaah, then thy would be happy.

But, getting back to issue: Keep going and I hope your European readers numbers won´t make you personally more a target for a "Fatwa" (silly as the concept is to me!).

 
At 2/11/2006 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam,

Sam, too bad you're not the Spokesman for Muslims Everywhere...a response like the one you have given here would have resulted in an immediate and embarrased apology from the Danish newspaper for having given offense instead of the "battle of the sacreds" that ensued instead. The voice of reason changes hearts and minds in ways that threats and violence never will.

bridget

 
At 2/11/2006 11:35:00 AM, Blogger elengil said...

I said it before, but it bears repeating.


Sandmonkey.. I love you, man.

 
At 2/11/2006 11:38:00 AM, Anonymous Aslan said...

A+++
In many ways your comments made me less worried than I have been.

Putting various bits of information together, I really can't hold on to the belief that the odious behavior being exhibited is "spontaneous".

When I first read about some sort of legal option for offending some region or another, I sat there with my mouth open for about half an hour. Could this have all been staged, well thought out and planned to a T?

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=77569&d=10&m=2&y=2006

You can bet I'll be pointing people near me toward your writing.
It's encouraging, insightful and a fun read!

I applaud your effort and impressive skill!

Pacific NorthWET, USA

 
At 2/11/2006 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Post !

I´m a christian german, and you´ve done more to improve my opinion on muslims then anyone else.

Still I fear it can´t compensate for the damage those extremists in muslim countries have done. But keep trying.

Thanks


Stefan

 
At 2/11/2006 12:29:00 PM, Anonymous ArmyArtilleryWife said...

Another fascinating post.

I am constantly amazed at the historical arc of Islam. Once at the forefront of political and scientific progress, Islamic nations are now as you describe.

I have faith, however, that Middle Eastern Muslims will one day reclaim their heritage and the region will prosper again.

Sometimes I wonder if the problem was too much "democracy"...and hear me out for a second:

Islam, like Christianity and Buddhism, was really a reformist religion. A lot of the chauvanism, tribalism, and extremism is not intrinsic to Islam, it is present in early, rural Arab culture (and in most early cultures--throughout all continents).

So, when leaders converted to Islam, they built cities based on the principles of learning and tolerance that they found in Islam--the Enlightened Despots of the Middle East.

The problem came when the common people converted to Islam but not to core Islamic principles. They kept instead their old values...

What I do not understand is why? The Enlightenment spread to commoners in Europe, but the Enlightened principles of Islam seemed to have been twisted beyond recognition...was the growth stunted by imperialism or something else entirely?

 
At 2/11/2006 12:35:00 PM, Blogger elengil said...

Aslan said: (love the name, btw)

Pacific NorthWET, USA

Not today!! sunny and almost warm!

 
At 2/11/2006 01:04:00 PM, Anonymous G said...

Thank you is the first thing I'd like to say. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's refreshing to see muslims who are not only sane but smart too. In fact,you're too smart! I'm afraid that whatever I type will sound just plain stupid. Nevertheless, I'll take my chances.

I think that the alternative options you suggested , especially the first one, should've been our primary reaction to these cartoons not opt straight to violence. Violence should've been the last resort and even then, it would've been completely uncalled for because at the end of the day, they were just cartoons! These fanatic muslims remind me alot of 5 year olds, you never know what offends them and when you do offend them, they throw one heck of a tantrum! They also lose interest ,in whatever it is that provoked them, quickly. In another month, they won't even remember that these cartoons ever existed. Another thing that both muslim fanatics and 5 year olds have in common is that no matter what you do to correct your "mistake", it's never enough. I am referring to the Norway Apologizes over these cartoons.

So what do you do when a five year old throws a tantrum?
Ignore them because they'll eventually calm down

 
At 2/11/2006 01:08:00 PM, Blogger AyyA said...

I spent the last two hours reading your blog; amazing, the only logical words I read in a long time, thank you.

 
At 2/11/2006 01:09:00 PM, Anonymous Charles said...

You might want to quote Thomas Jefferson's rational for freedom of speech (concerning religion as well as other areas where we try to uncover and spread truth):

"..It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."

He is not saying all ideas are equally good, but that the general framework for discussing and finding what is good must be neutral, must not have written into it ahead of time some approved truth. because fallible humans will make those judgements and freeze in their own mistakes. yes, sometimes we are confident that people are saying something false with their free speech, but we needn't suppress it because having everytrhing out in the open to to compare, the best ideas will win out. Use persuasion and reason in your cause. if the general principle is instead to use force the biggest bullies, rather than the wisest arguments, will win. No exceptions granted, this is how our system works.

 
At 2/11/2006 01:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post! I just want to say that muslim principals will never be respected until muslims stop using violence...hell...half the people in the ME can't read. Doesn't anybody care? People are starving in Africa. Does anybody care!

Where is religion when you need it?

 
At 2/11/2006 01:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post SM. I would like to point out however that Islam as practiced today is without question the most intolerant of the major religions. You may convince me otherwise when I see churches and synagogues opening in Saudi Arabia and their congregations openly practicing their faiths. The bit about killing anyone that converts from Islam to another religion would be a big help as well.

I will leave you with this Western woman’s critique of an Iranian woman’s poem about the wonders of wearing the Hijab taken from Gates of Vienna.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2005/08/poem-for-women-in-islam.html

While it has nothing to do directly with this current bit of insanity, I think it bears directly on the root cause. Plus, I just thought you might enjoy it if you have not already seen it.

Be Proud of Hijab

You look at me and call me oppressed,
Simply because of the way I'm dressed,
You know me not for what's inside,
You judge the clothing I wear with pride,
My body's not for your eyes to hold,
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mold,
I'm an individual, I'm no mans slave,
It's Allah’s pleasure that I only crave,
I have a voice so I will be heard,
For in my heart I carry His word,
"O ye women, wrap close your cloak,
So you won't be bothered by ignorant folk",
Man doesn't tell me to dress this way,
It's a Law from God that I obey,
Oppressed is something I'm truly NOT,
For liberation is what I've got,
It was given to me many years ago,
With the right to prosper, the right to grow,
I can climb mountains or cross the seas,
Expand my mind in all degrees,
For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY,
When He sent Islam,
To You and Me!

Here is the exegesis:

You look at me and call me oppressed,
That's because you are, sweet-pea. Doesn't require a degree in engineering to recognize fear when I see it hidden.

Simply because of the way I'm dressed,
Who in their right mind would dress that way in the desert heat if they didn't have to?

You know me not for what's inside,
No, but I can take a good guess that you wouldn't dare step outside without that covering. And you don't know what's inside anyone who isn't forced to dress that way either. Your point?

You judge the clothing I wear with pride,
No, it's more that I judge the misogynists who force a whole culture to see women as so dangerous and men as having so little self-control that women have to wear bags over their heads.

My body's not for your eyes to hold,
Don't give yourself airs. No one's looking that hard.

You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mold,
Ri-i-ight. And if I speak to you without your father's, your brother's and your uncle's permission, you're dead meat. All because of your "feminine mold." Tell me, what is a prison of cloth like? Have you ever run through a field barefoot, or laughed out loud in public, or walked somewhere by yourself just to think?

I'm an individual, I'm no mans slave,
If you say so. But how come you have to ask permission to go out, to marry, to talk to someone? Or how do you define "slave"?

It's Allahs pleasure that I only crave,
Spare me your religiosity. You don't have to wear blankets and live under someone's thumb in order to please Allah.

I have a voice so I will be heard,
But you may not use that voice to sing, may you? And no talking to men either. Sure you do. You have a voice. Just keep telling yourself that so your vocal cords don't atrophy. How many times in your life have you used that voice to say "no" to something you felt was wrong?

For in my heart I carry His word,
So do millions of other women, but they don't have to muffle up in yards of blankets to carry His word.

"O ye women, wrap close your cloak,
So you won't be bothered by ignorant folk",
Yeah. Wrap up and make a spectacle of yourself.

Man doesn't tell me to dress this way,
And if I believe that you've got some property in the Sahara to sell me, right?

It's a Law from God that I obey,
You keep on believing that. It might make your plight less awful.

Oppressed is something I'm truly NOT,
Of course NOT…you're the exemplar for freedom, you are.

For liberation is what I've got,
In which particular corpuscle do you store all this liberation? And what are you saving it for?

It was given to me many years ago,
Liberty is not 'given' - it's A given, like life and the pursuit of happiness.

With the right to prosper, the right to grow,
Hmmm. You get to do it your way, right? And other women are just beating the door down for the chance to be like you, aren't they? And you never cry yourself to sleep at night, do you?

I can climb moutains or cross the seas,
As long as you get permission first.

Expand my mind in all degrees,
But how come you can't sit in the same classroom with those "Others" - the men - while expanding your mind with degrees? How come you all have to sit in separate classrooms down the hall and see the teacher on a monitor?

For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY,
He did indeed. And someone stole yours and put this pitiful sham in its place.

When He sent Islam,
This is received opinion to which you are most welcome. I'm just glad the liberty He handed me didn't include this part of your contract.

To You and Me!
Ummm..I don't know how to tell you this, dear heart, but it's yours, not mine. Wear it, with your various and sundry coverings, in good health.

*********************************

This is Persian poetry? Hafiz is rolling over in his grave. And I can feel an attack of the vapors coming on. Pardon me while I go lie down with a cool cloth on my forehead. Oh Lordy, the sentiments expressed here are making me positively vertiginous.

Now wherever did I leave those smelling salts?

 
At 2/11/2006 01:31:00 PM, Blogger Josie said...

Hey SM, I did, I did read the whole thing. Wonderful, as usual. Although I do think it is absolutely true that some Muslims DO want everyone to fear them. So for those, your rational words are just plain not applicable. Of course I believe that is a minority of Muslims. Anyway, I'm glad you were here so all the Danes & European folks were able to find you at this time. You're a keeper!

 
At 2/11/2006 01:48:00 PM, Blogger Meg Q said...

Sam, this is a very good post. Perhaps it may sound kind of insulting that so many of us Westerners are psyched that there are "moderate" Muslims -- what, like you're all total crazies -- but think about it, that's what you're saying above to your brothers, it's the image that we receive thousands of miles away. It's hard to remind yourself, over and over again, that those people hollering on the TV are a relatively small group and don't necessarily stand for everybody in that country, especially when you turn away from the two-minute story on the news and back to your more immediate concerns. My husband *hates* watching the news, so since I've been married we've only really had the TV hooked up to the cable for the U.S. election in 2004 and the Canadian election last month, and a few other things. This has made my life much better! :^)

 
At 2/11/2006 01:52:00 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

1- "those cartoons were published in a widely circulated Egyptian newspaper"
then one sentence later:
"I had a copy at home by coincidence"... Thanks for clarification.

2-"I tried to calm him down by saying that it was Ramadan, and people were probably not concentrating because of the fasting and therefore didn't pay attention that such a thing got printed"
I greet you for such a true explanation that passed by my mind.

3- Kick the ass of anyone who asks you about your religion.

4- I agree with the parts that Muslims should lead by example and that criticism is one way. However, if I may ask, your blog is in English while most of those people in the street chaunting thse stupid calls for the fuckin Bin Laden barely know what Arabic is... to whom your criticism is directed, Arabic speakers or English ones? May be you are just directing your articles to those intellectuals who know english and can have influence over the people here. If so, I am with you. But still you should show the good sides the same way you show the bad sides. Or else your credability will be doubted and you will get such questions like those about ur religion. Cred. is something a reformist writer like you should take care for.

Finally I totally agree with you on the Ahmad solutions and I will republish them myself.

With respect

 
At 2/11/2006 01:53:00 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

add to point number 2 the message I have sent you.

 
At 2/11/2006 01:54:00 PM, Blogger Bitman said...

As usual, you hit the nail smack on the head again. You're the voice of reason in this kaos; and I'm very very happy that it comes from a Muslim. Much unexpected but reliving. Maybe there is hope to co-exist?

I've only been reading your blog for about a few weeks now; but it's impressive. A voice of reason, and your ideas of how to deal with the crisis are interesting and intriging.

If there were more of you around I'm sure a few of your suggestions would be implemented straight right now. Unfortunately - and this is where my eyes tears a bit - it doesn't look like you got that many on "your" side, in the Muslim world?

All your analysis is right on; people's conception of Islam in the western world, is that of terrorists, abuse and intollerance. And as with all religion, it's easy to go to the holy scriptures and find quotes that support those stands.

I don't want a homogen world; but a world where differences can co-exist. With sensible and thoughtful people like you on both sides it can happen. But I wonder - can you imagine christianity setting up a mission in Saudia Arabia, inviting the Saudies to see why they should choose Christianity over Islam? That seems way far from reality; but it would be nice - common respect and understanding.

Btw. I have never agreed with you on your views of the cartoons. I fail to see how they are racists or demeaning. But I certainly respect your right to feel they are and CERTAINLY you should voice your oppinon along with people who agrees with you, so people like me realize that there is a different oppinion out there.

All the best to you and yours. And congrats on the championship. I bet all of Cairo was on the streets last night?

 
At 2/11/2006 02:52:00 PM, Blogger laika said...

hello, wise Sandmonkey. are you for real? you're making entirely too much sense. you're so unretarded.

stumbled across your blog through the "Buy Danish" campaign. looking forward to time spent here.

respectfully...

 
At 2/11/2006 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous jan said...

The coming of the Messiah is near. He was prophesied from the beginning (Gen3:15; Gen 12:3: Gen 49:10). He would come through Isaac and ALL nations would be blessed through Him. (Gen 22:15-19)

The worship of the One True God came down to us through the Jews. The Messiah is a Jew and he is coming again soon. Moses and all the prophets have told of Him. The prophecies seem to speak of two different Messiahs. This is because he comes twice. Once as a suffering servant, Jesus, to die on a cross for all our sins. And once again as a conquering King of Kings.

God did not wait 700 years after Christ's ascension and then send 'another prophet' with a wholly new explanation of Abraham, 'Ishmael' and Joseph. Islam has rewritten history and the scriptures and refuses to look at the evidence. What validity can a religion have that refuses to study anything but their own writings?

For you Muslims who are beginning to see the hypocracy and shalowness of Islam .... keep your eyes open. When you see a great charismatic leader rise up in the ME during a time of awful war and upheaval (like the one right over the horizon) and the Israelis go running after him to make a deal for their lives ... that's it! Then you will see the events of the book of Revelations all come down and then the Messiah will return. There is no changing your mind after he appears. It will be too late.

 
At 2/11/2006 02:58:00 PM, Anonymous Kjartan said...

He lamented that naturally those people wouldn’t believe that Islam is the religion of all those things, when almost none of the muslim countries employ those principles themselves. I mean, how could they?

Bang ! Nail on the head


That any apology they will get now will not be an acknowledgment of error in the insult to the prophet’s image, but rather a response to calm you crazy people down. It’s like me calling you names and only apologizing once a gun is pointed towards my head: It’s not sincere, and I am only doing it to get you not to kill me. That’s not Respect, that’s fear, and that’s not what you want.


Bang ! Nail on the head again.


Excellent post, no problem at all getting to the end of it :). Congratulations on the championship

 
At 2/11/2006 03:14:00 PM, Blogger patsgirl said...

The best post I´ve read today in any blog - Thank you.

I (Yet another Danish reader - you properbly have been getting a lot of those lately) was wondering though what "Al Fagr" said was the story behind the cartoons? "Jyllands Posten" said it was to check if the illustrators would self-censor themselves. In a way I think most of them did. The cartoons they usually make about Jesus, our queen and our politicians are worse (and a lot more fun also) than most of the 12 cartoons. Anyway if I can find the original text from "Jyllans Posten" that was next to the cartoons, I would be happy to translate it in case anyone is interrested.

There have been a few nice demonstrations in Denmark during the last week where Danes (Muslims and non-Muslims) were demonstrating for peace. One of the spokesmen (a Muslim immigrant) said that he did not like the cartoons but he also felt very sad, when he saw people burning the Danish flag because it was also his country now. He said he loved Denmark and was very thankfull for the way Denmark had accepted him. Unfortunately I haven´t seen any reports from any of these demonstrations outside of the Danish Media. I guess peace doesn´t sell as well as violence.

I agree with you that a country that should accept all taboos of all religions would be a very unplesant place to live. Which was one of the arguments that JP used. We don´t accept religious taboos on a generel basic in Denmark so the newspaper wanted to start a debate whether we should accept the taboos of Islam. Of course nobody would force a Muslim to draw the prophet but does that mean that non-Muslims should not be allowed to do this. Just like I (a non-Jehovas witness) can have a blood transfusion and still respect that a Jehovas witness wont as long as he respects that I would accept this treathment.

I like your Ahmad solution. I wouldn´t mind learning a little bit more about Islam though my teacher in "Religion class" in grammar school and high school did teach us a little bit about it. About 2 months after "Jyllands Posten" printed the cartoons some of the Danish Muslim protesters made an agreement with the paper, that the paper should print a speciel section about Muhammed and Islam in a objective non-mocking way of course. At the time it seemed like a good end to the story - but it was not the end as we now know. I hope the newspaper still wants to do it course it´s still a good idea, since many Danes don´t know very much about Islam. BTW I read the other day that the Koran in Danish is sold out (so it seems that the Danes are interrested in learning more)
and the publisher will not get a new stock before in 2 months.

Talking about "Sold out" I heard that Saudi Arabia is running out of butter since Arla have a 60-65% marketshare. Wonder how long they live without butter - maybe the boycott will end soon.

Don´t think the legal action solution will work. People have tried sueing JP twice over the cartoons, but the newspaper didn´t do anything illegal under Danish Law. The prosecutor dismissed the case. A small Danish company will try to sue JP for the money that the company have lost because of the boycott - don´t think that will work either.

Anyway thanks for a great blog and congrats on the championship. Sorry about the long comment. I just found your post very interresting and wanted to make a few comments on it.

 
At 2/11/2006 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous charles said...

concerning the cartoons themselves:
I don't think that the one with the turban/bomb with lit fuse was saying anything about the terrorism-islam conhnection. I think it was a comment on the tension a cartoonist felt in anticipating the reaction the picture would produce when set out into the world.

But expecting a reaction, not because it was intended to be an offensive depiction, but just because the local muslim enforcers would insist on everyone follow their rules absolutely and try to punish violations. Right ot wrong, that is how the newspaper editor was perceiving the situation (and he dramatized it successfully to the rest of us).

You should point out to your friends that if Danes follow muslim rules because of intimidation, they will not accept them in their minds. Furthermore, with such a precident, other "rule givers" (not necessarily muslim ones) could join in if they saw success follows. Then bigger bullies could override the rules imposed by the bullies your friends might approve. far better to accept a neutral system like that in science where there is agreed upon framework for persuasion.

 
At 2/11/2006 03:49:00 PM, Anonymous Kevin from china said...

Excellent blog, you did indeed take out of a lot anger I have for islam. Just too sad to see fellows like you in your part of the world are very limitid. As someone has already pointed out, you should also write it on arabic or better still all ME languages(get some translater, surely there must be someone who can do it and free).
If you ever managed to reform islam to that sence that it can co-exist with secularised society you surely deserve Nobel price.

 
At 2/11/2006 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Im not finished reading yet, but wanted to give a comment to this question already:

"But don’t you see that you are hurting the cause of Islam by doing this and helping its enemies attack it?"

I would rather call you a blessing for muslims :) You are one of the few who shows the non-muslim world that there are muslims who can be self critical, who are rather outraged at mulim who kill others, than because an independen danish news paper published some cartoons about the prophet, who can take distance from prejudices against Jews and does not buy the stupid conspiracy theories which are kept alive with pleasure in the Middle East region.

People asking you the above question should realise that. I believe you're much more of a good representative of islam to the west than any Talibanguy out there.

 
At 2/11/2006 03:56:00 PM, Anonymous AD - cairo said...

Nice one!

I hope you didn't write this during the football match last night...

 
At 2/11/2006 03:56:00 PM, Anonymous lincoln said...

Bravo!!! Extremely well written and reasoned.

Question: do you ever fear for your life? One reads about Yahoo helping the Chinese capture and imprison dissenters. Google (parent of Blogger) is also happily cooperating with the Chinese in censoring their search engine. Doesn't take much to think that with the right offer ($$$), they would happily sell out their users. I have to imagine what you write deeply pisses off those fanatics who hate intelligence and reason. Unfortunately, many of those also have a lot of power, influence, and $$$.

Anyway, I've only recently discovered your blog (following the link of the "Buy Danish" icon), and have been completely floored by what I've found here. Absolutely amazing!

Again, bravo!!!

From Spain

 
At 2/11/2006 04:07:00 PM, Blogger elengil said...

cairo said...

Nice one!

I hope you didn't write this during the football match last night...



Now that would have been blasphemy ;)

 
At 2/11/2006 04:07:00 PM, Anonymous f said...

made it to the end of your post. interesting reading.

found your site through other links on the web about denmark.

 
At 2/11/2006 04:09:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Finished reading. Nothing more to add. Perhaps you can add a link to this post, calling it FAQ.

I liked Ahmad's solution by the way :)

 
At 2/11/2006 04:41:00 PM, Anonymous Suz said...

Made it to the end, including all comments.
Great work, as usual.

 
At 2/11/2006 04:45:00 PM, Blogger newc said...

You are an Imam for Truth.

 
At 2/11/2006 05:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear SM !

As a muslim living in Denmark i am very happy to read your posts. I hope that many fellow muslims will soon take the journey out of the dark and into the light - enlightment.

The debate often gets onesided in the West, and you only hear the islamists voices. As if they are the only ones !

Take care my friend !

Ali F.
Copenhagen Denmark

 
At 2/11/2006 05:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really good post! Got my eyes on your blog a couple of days ago and probably will visit many times in the future.

As people before me have said, you are a type of muslim which gives us all hope for a change to the better. As most people here, i also think the only way to find a lasting solution is by reforming islam from the inside.

That's were people like you are important. You know the religion, both what's good and bad. Muslims looking for a peaceful solution can learn from you and similar people, rather than some of those crazy fundamentalistic imams we have seen too much from lately.

But here comes a huge problem. How should we reach there when even moderate muslime in western countries are protesting against Denmark instead of the lunatics burning embassies? This is what i can't understand. A protest AGAINST Denmark and Europe and their freedom of speech, is a protest FOR the idiots burning flags and acting violent, and therefore also a protest AGAINST secular muslims like you wanting to change things.

I think a problem even for muslims in western countries are that very many of them haven't really adapted to the real meaning of freedom of speech. They know it as a concept, but they haven't understood the essence of it. Here is job definitely needed.

Anyway, i will stop this already long post with an apology on behalf of many people in my country, which by the way is Sweden. We are led by a bunch of cowards which yesterday by direct pressure from the government on an internet provider closed a website publishing images of Muhammed.

So that's how freedom of speech works in northern Europe at the moment. So both to you secular muslims wanting to change islam and all you danes taking so much shit for this thing, i would say that most people in Sweden are supporting you, even though many of our politically correct media and politicians fumbles around blaming Denmark, or hiding under some rocks at best. Peace!

 
At 2/11/2006 06:02:00 PM, Blogger CEP said...

Have been a daily reader for over a year now, and have really appreciated your coverage of the cartoon controversy, the recent Egyptian elections, and pictures of the post-victory Africa Cup celebrations (many congratulations). Your solutions to the cartoon mess are all as I would have suggested--and as a Christian, those I endorse myself for any public offense. One thing that bothers me about this whole cartoon controversy is how much it detracted from the 1000+ deaths of that ferry sinking--that's a horrific tragedy, and of far more immediate, profound concern than leftover cartoons... Any more word on this (beyond the ship owner enriching himself at the expense of the bereaved)?

 
At 2/11/2006 06:15:00 PM, Anonymous jokerman said...

Jan
1-Where does it say in the Bible, with its old & new testaments that the Messiah will come twice??
2- Why does he come twice when once is enough since heis God?
3- Why delay his return over 2000 years when prophets followed eachother much more sooner than 3 centuries?
4- That awful war wont be as bloody as WW2 & you & your likes are doing your best i am sure to create a battle so your allegedly Messiah will come, apparently the screams of sufgering & battle cries will entice him to cut his slumber & return to earth to join in the carnage.
There are no more messiah jan, get used to it & oh, try to remember what jesus taught you, to love your enemy & to turn the other cheek , ok?

 
At 2/11/2006 06:19:00 PM, Anonymous Karl in the US said...

I starting reading your blog a few days ago. I know there are other Muslims who agree with you. When one considers that Muslim Spain was the most enlightened part of Europe for hundreds off years, how the mighty have fallen. If Muslims, Christians, and Jews would truly follow their religions the world would be a better more tolerant place. Most who claim to be fundamentalist wish to pick and chose what people will believe and do and pervert the beauty of the teachings of G*d.

 
At 2/11/2006 06:23:00 PM, Anonymous jokerman said...

Sandymonkey
One must give you credit for this effort but you should know your fellow muslims cannot see the truth or any logic even if it was sitting right next to them.
Maybe you are young & full of energy but the few you can persuade will soon get swept away in waves of ignorance.
One cannot get a message through even if you had a reference book with you showing how many things they belive in & think is Islamic has nothing to do with religion.
95% of muslims in my opinion have this undying devotion to the traditions & customs, they feel without it they cannot be muslims & they shall be lost forever, so they lock their minds & block their ears to anything coming from outside, as its purely evil, such a society is doomed, change is inevitable & the more its delayed, the more its violent.

 
At 2/11/2006 06:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a new beginner of your blog, and I first knew of your blogs existence after this cartoon-thingy. I must say that you make me laugh, think and change views, especially on Muslims (to the better!).

 
At 2/11/2006 06:47:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Jokerman,

(You're not a christian I take it! I had thought you were, for some reason)

1-Where does it say in the Bible, with its old & new testaments that the Messiah will come twice??

Second coming of Christ would be the Book of Revelation. I can provide quotes if you like, but I'm sure you can find the text on the internet.

2- Why does he come twice when once is enough since he is God?

He is not God. His first coming was to save man, his second coming is to destroy man. The end of days.

3- Why delay his return over 2000 years when prophets followed eachother much more sooner than 3 centuries?

It was supposed to be 1000 years, but I actually read it differently. You probably aren't interested in my interpretaion though, you are just here to ridicule :P

4- That awful war wont be as bloody as WW2

Not sure what you are referring to, but one of the first signs of the apocalypse is supposed to 25% of humanity perishing in war and famine. Almost 2 billion people? Not as bad as WWII? And humanity in it's entierty ceases to exist by the end. That's why they call it "the end of days" - you know?

Just want to let you know, Jokerman, I'm very offended by the things you just said. You just made a mockery of the beliefs of about 2 billion people.

Good thing us Christains are civilized these days, or I'd kill you for that :P

 
At 2/11/2006 07:02:00 PM, Anonymous Kjartan said...

Ali, great to hear here from a danish muslim. Really, voices like yours and Sane-monkey's are the ones we all (crazed islamists or grumpy danes and other westerners) most need to hear.

I hope we will all be able to make it work in Denmark (I am danish, but temporarily live in the US).

 
At 2/11/2006 07:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey,
i'm not really against anything you said except ONE POINT.

you do realize ALFagr is a tabloid right?

you do realize it also reports stuff like " fifi abou is a space alien"

so yeah.
how much do people read or respect tabloids? people barely do enough research as is, if they read something in a tabloid they're going to consider it made up.
do you know this tabloid has a record of being shut down for making things up?

you expect people to Believe a tabloid suddenly?

 
At 2/11/2006 07:14:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

I read and am, as always, pleased because you serve a great purpose even if your detractors would think otherwise.

When we can speak in reason, even if we don't agree, we can overcome. To me, it is a balm to read as well as to have discourse with those who disagree in your comments section.

If there is one thing about blogs that cannot be overlooked, it is the personal communication. even if you think people have gone away angry and taken nothing, it is a false idea because it is like osmosis or subliminal. There is someone who thinks different than me.

Second, in some ways, as painful as it was, I welcomed the tension and the fight. I am glad that it did not go any further, but, even in conflict we can learn things. when we pretend to peace while seething inside, it only perpetuates the anger and fans the flames.

Is there more to the cartoons than testing the water? yes, to me, they did speak of my own feelings sometimes. I know people like the Sandmonkey, but sometimes the seething rage I have had to see for over three decades of my life seems incomprehensible. I know, there are things political that divide us. I don't say that is incomprehensible, but sometimes I feel that we will never reach a dialogue between our ideas and others. Conflict, even if it is only semi peaceful, allows us not only to view the actions of the "others", but to view our own actions and ideas.

Somewhere I believe that two messages were sent by the protests and, if I may be so selfish as to point to the "other" it seems that what we fear or abhor was reflected back in realtime. Whether that message will be understood or analyzed by many, I'm not sure, but I think that some at least understood. The other message that may not be as comfortable to me is that these populations see that they are not alone and that they still have power. That power is in numbers certainly but it is a hope that the concept does not lead to the idea that this gives enough confidence to commit war or demand a change in social freedoms that cannot be given.

I am tired of people threatening war for this or that, from either side. It is not in the conflict of ideas or words that we must worry, though. It is when we stop talking.

Thank you for giving us a place to talk.

 
At 2/11/2006 07:17:00 PM, Anonymous LiquidSimian said...

Anon 7:05

you're missing the point.
1) Al Fagr printed images of the prophet.
2) There were no riots.
1+2= WTF?!

Whether or not Al Fagr is a rag (i wouldn't know) does not make a difference.

 
At 2/11/2006 07:29:00 PM, Blogger forsoothsayer said...

there's no legal merit to this suggestion of suing them, for a variety of reasons i won't bore u with. won't work. try again.

 
At 2/11/2006 07:31:00 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

As a long time reader and long time poster; I have to say that I love your logic Sandy Monkey. As a Copt and fellow Egyptian - although blogging from the more sane American side - I hope and pray for a day when Christians and Muslims and men and women, all as equal partners, work to restore Egypt. Maybe if all Egyptians can be one member in a Civil society we can restore the glory of years past...ya know like around 1500 BC or so.

Peace

 
At 2/11/2006 07:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder you have a blog, you have so much to say, and I don't mean that in a bad way.

Joanne

 
At 2/11/2006 09:55:00 PM, Blogger yochanan said...

'and the Israelis go running after him to make a deal for their lives .' This seems to be the reasoning for anti semitism.

I am sorry but this is offensive.
If I said this about muslims in America I would be called a racist.
And this is a bigoted point of view. Which seems to be the majority viewpoint in the middleast as proven by the Hamas victory. In America I as a jew can walk the streets in freedom as do muslims. I don't think there is a muslim country were i could do that. Prove me wrong.

With the head of the Iranian gov't saying the Holocoust did not happen and that Israel should be wiped off the map indicates more about what is believed in that part of the world.

 
At 2/11/2006 10:19:00 PM, Blogger Twosret said...

SM,

When you are done with the cartoons topic can you please e-mail me? You have beaten the donkey over an over and the freaking donkey is dead man!

Men El Cartoons to the MB's ya 'alby la tehzan.

I might have to make an appointment to you with a PhD psychologist.-:)

El blog dah ramaram 'awy

 
At 2/11/2006 10:22:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

you know, I worry about something that gets little thought and that is there are jews in Iran. With all this talk from the Iranian president about zionists and the lie of the holocaust, I wonder how fearful the Iranian jews are right about now.

While muslims demonstrate in the streets and demand respect for their religion and beliefs, while threatening "holocausts", in Iran, one can imagine that the Jews are sitting quietly in their houses with the doors locked at night, hoping that it does not come to them.

Whatever your feelings or beliefs about zionism and Israel, I'd say right about now would be a good time to pray for the jews of Iran.

 
At 2/11/2006 10:27:00 PM, Blogger Twosret said...

I don't think there is a muslim country were i could do that. Prove me wrong.

Try Morocco, the consultant of the King of Morocco is a Jew. Try Iraq my dear Yochonan. The rest of the arab countries you have to look for yourself.

You need to read more often or travel more often. You pick!

 
At 2/11/2006 10:29:00 PM, Blogger Twosret said...

one can imagine that the Jews are sitting quietly in their houses with the doors locked at night, hoping that it does not come to them.

Don't worry about them Kat no need for prayers. If they lived safe there for a while they can make it :)

 
At 2/11/2006 10:48:00 PM, Blogger Chip said...

I linked to your post. I guess I'd be in the Parmesan Sect of the Pastafarians.

 
At 2/11/2006 11:03:00 PM, Anonymous Ahamed said...

you say your mother is a muslim and your father too,I think for people like you Islam is something you inherited, exactly like being Egyptian, I won't be surprised though if Islam to you is just a punch of rituals. i'm not amazed because people think you are a christian or a jew, these are the people where most of Islam enemies came from, not much are aware of modern seculars who look at islam the same way non muslims look.

Don't you realize that Islam has two majors of speech, one for the non beleivers, and one for the beleivers, they are not contradicting but they are addressing differant issues.

For Example, when i talk to a non believer about the cartoons issue I my point should be mutual respect, while if i talk to you about the cartoon issue I should remind you that our Prophet is the best human that ever walked on earth and he should be dearer to us than our families, our people our money and our ownselves.

I can't use the same logic with you as I would use with a non believer, cause we - as muslims- should have established some common basis, and constants, like We only live our lives to worship Allah ,don't we ?


I hope i find a blog here one day, talking about what ISLAM means to you, or the Value of prophet Mohmmad in your life.
Thanks
Ahmad

PS, to all your happy readers, i'm sorry to disappoint you Guys, but Alhamdolellah(praise to Allah) SM is not a typical guy in the Middle east, he's unique and rare, most of us here are 3 types, trying to be good muslims and try to serve the cause of Islam in the best way they could, or Followers of the western model of life, and those who just don't know anything in life and don't know what are their lives for

 
At 2/11/2006 11:49:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Ahamed,

"SM is not a typical guy in the Middle east"

I think we figured that out! I mean, really... we do have television sets over here, you know!

I think you missed a category though, unless you call those who commite murder (or advocate murder) in the name of God "good muslims." If that's the case, i'd be interested in hearing more about that.

 
At 2/12/2006 12:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am posting this comment anonymously for a reason.

SM, I am impressed that you understand a central aspect of why Islam is disrespected. The attitudes of Muslims make a big difference in the image of Islam. Sadly, I do regard you as an exception. I think most Muslims accept whatever they are told by their media, and they are told to hate hate hate.

A long time ago, I directly compared the Quran to the Bible and found that if each were literally interpreted, the Quran would be an improvement. There was a time when I had seriously considered converting to Islam, but didn't mainly because I didn't respect Islam's death sentence against apostates. Why should I convert to a religion that is so insecure in itself that it would kill those who try to leave? Believe me, as much as I may be staunchly monotheistic, I am not about to put myself into a religious prison.

The September 11 attacks were a major event in religious history. Not only was it an atrocity done in the name of Islam (and which was celebrated by more than a few Muslims...), but it led to another event less obvious yet more momentous. I swore I would never convert to Islam. Why? For one, I flatly reject any "Paradise" that has anything to do with the diabolical ideology of al-Qaeda and its ilk. Oh, I've heard comments that "al-Qaeda is not really Muslim" blah blah blah. It that's truly the case, then Islamists are apostates. If they aren't apostates, then they really are Muslim. One can't have it both ways. If al-Qaeda were apostasy, then wouldn't it be a religious obligation for all Muslims to fight it? Yet, throughout Islam, there seems to be such reluctance to engage in the "takfir" of opposing al-Qaeda, and that gives lie to such claims.

The question of scientific discovery is not a minor one. When Muslims seem to excel more at spinning conspiracy theories than making scientific discoveries, there is a problem. Islamic society was at one time superior to any other, but its main rival was the fading and moribund Byzantine Empire with its pointless wars over Christology and Iconoclasm. That was long ago, and it was before the ascendancy of 'Asharite metaphysics, which led to the fatalism and narrowmindedness that has infected Islam ever since. (What ever happened to the Mutazilites, anyway?)

Why should I convert to a religion whose adherents fervently believe in annihilating my people, my family, my land, and myself? No, my family comes first! I would rather stand with my friends, my family, my people than give in to genocide artists who have effectively burned their diabolical image of Islam into the consciousness of so many people.

As I said before, you are an exception within Islam. You seem to understand what is at stake. And you are not a loser. Yet, it looks to me that the vast majority of Middle Easterners (and Muslims) are a bunch of ignorant losers who blame all of their own problems on vast Jewish or American or European conspiracies, never quite realizing that while Middle Easterners stew in al-Jazeera's anger machine, the rest of the world moves forward without them. As an outsider looking in, why should I associate myself with a religion of losers?

As a living religion, Islam does not look like it is in good health. The cartoon controversy has proven that conclusively. Islamists have effectively portrayed the Muslim ego as every bit as fragile as an uncooked egg. What sane and rational outsider would convert to a religion whose principal representatives are a bunch of nutcases who are foaming at the mouth?

The "West" advanced beyond the Middle East when it embraced empiricism, which led to the discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin. Have you ever heard of the "Biblical Archeology Review"? You should! In contrast, where is the interest in early Islamic history and Islamic archeology to ascertain the real history of Islam? (For one thing, I'd like to read historical and scientific proof of the authenticity of the Quran.)

I know, I know, it's partly the fault of the US to indulge the Wahhabi state. Granted that's true. But there is insufficient interest in preserving Islamic history and insufficient outrage when Islamic heritage is destroyed.

Yeah, yeah, the "Salafis" will say I'm just a "kafir". But their refusal to authenticate their history, to show convincingly that their Quran is an accurate account of Mohammed (as opposed to reports that it was an edited document and all rival versions of the Quran were tracked down and destroyed), and to encourage the wide-ranging discussion necessary for discovering the truth about early Islamic history -- this refusal to accept that truth needs to be verified vastly undermines their credibility. If Islam isn't about truth but instead about asserting truth, what attraction should it have for a seeker of truth?

In contrast, you seem to be honest. Painfully so, in fact. Unlike so many others who call themselves Muslims, you are not two-faced, using one line of logic for Muslims and another line of logic for outsiders. The fact is, I don't even bother to listen to what Muslim missionaries tell me. Instead, I listen to what Muslim imams say to their own congregations because that reflects how Islam is truly practiced.

Yes, this is a long comment, and I am surely saying some things that would annoy your coreligionists or even you. But still, your honesty deserves honesty in return. You seem to understand something about Islam's place in the world that the vast majority of Muslims do not seem to comprehend.

 
At 2/12/2006 02:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

Two days ago, I've spent a good part of the night reading your blog. Just to know how a Muslim lives/feels (you are in your 30's me too).

I was browsing the web to grab information on muslim reactions against the Cartoon. I couldn't understand why it matters so much.

Somes say that you don't represent the average muslim. I don't care.
I've discovered that some muslims thinks/feels like me.

I will look differently at my fellow Muslims on the street tomorrow. I will look at them as a potential funny/smart young peoples.

Somes ask respects by violence. They want us to respect their sacred believes. people like you receive it naturally. They are respected as human beings.

Your blog made me less "xenophobic". I tank you for that.

Keep up the good work. I will browse your blog periodically to remind me this only truth: we are on the same boat called: earth.

Olivier (Brussels)

 
At 2/12/2006 02:48:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Ahmad, so I praise you, and you shit on me?

Nice...

The whole double standard of talking thing doesn't work for me buddy, and I am not even going to acknowledge your analysis of "what Islam means to me" since you don't know me or have read me for this past year. To be honest, I don;t have to prove shit to you, and while I am appreciative and impressed by your list of suggestions for the Prophet's cartoons, I never once recall asking you to give me suggestions on what to write.

You dont need to thank god that I am not the typical guy in the middle east ya Basha. I know I am not. If I were, we wouldn't be in the rut that we are in right now, having our image decided by every fuckwit cleric who likes the spotlight and the applause he gets by enraging his congregation, or by assholes who run around saying "Butcher those who slander Islam". I am sure you are more likely to approve of those as typically middle-eastern guys, and thank god for that, no?

Whatever...

 
At 2/12/2006 02:59:00 AM, Anonymous Ahmad said...

May peace and Allah mercy and blessings be upon you,

Mocking a "dead" man (not to mention a prophet) does NOT equal mocking a living man.

Mocking from a prophet sent as mercy to mankind, and who represents a religion AND its followers, is equal mocking the religion AND its followers, WAKE UP

 
At 2/12/2006 03:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again following up on the comments here I get more depressed again and do not see how Islam and the rest of the world should be able to peacefully coexist.
It seems that Muslims does not in any way WANT to understand other people and religions. If you have one agenda within and one outside your own doors, how can you ever claim that you really make an effort to be forgiving and understanding, you cannot understand if your not open to communicate and put yourself in someone elses shoes.

I do agree on that I would never trust a religion that punishes people who want to get out. In that case your confidence in your Allah must be very limited.
If He is so superior don´t you think He could himself influence people to find him again if they are loosing faith. Are you muslims (not you sandmonkey;) trying to say that ordinary people (like Imams) understand the ways of God better than himself, and are wise enough to decide instead of Him who is or is not worthy of following Him?

If you don´t trust your own Single God to be able to do this judgement himself, it seems that you yourselves are the ones that are loosing faith and should be persecuted! The logic does not hold!

Sorry for confusing rambling but I would like to find a way to believe Islam is really a god and worthy religion, but words and actions from muslims seems to put me down again and again.

/non-muslim but trying to walk in muslim shoes.

 
At 2/12/2006 04:00:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Ahmad,

One cartoonist, one man, out of 5 million danes, made a cartoon that depicted the prophet of having a bomb-shaped turban.

Another man, Editor in chief, agrees to let the cartoon get published.

2 men's choice, just 2 men, led to all of this talk about how "the west mocks Islam and the prophet" and all the other shit that followed.

I don't know about you, but 2 men mocking me or my religion, prophet or god- while reprehensible- doesn't equate the whole west "mocking Islam and muslims". That's just not fair ya Ahmad. It's not fair to punish 5 million people cause 2 men mocked the prophet. And it's not fair to lump the whole west in that category. And it's also not fair to ignore our responsbility towards curbing the assholes that do the shit that invite such mocking in the first place. I am sure that the Prophet and his sense of justice would see the unfairness in that as well. But as you said, he is dead, and now his followers are making sure his reputation gets and stays tarnished.

However,let's ignore all that, and think about something for a second. One of the basic concepts in Islam is "el A3mal belneyat", right? As in, judge the action by the motive.

Now, if we believe the newspaper's side of the story, the point behind this "exercise of free speech" by them aimed at testing whether or not they exercise self-censorship in regards to Islam, whether the whole world is afraid of insulting muslims cause no one wants to die. Taking that into consideration, their inetntion of drawing the said cartoon wasn;t to mock the prophet or to insult Islam, as much as it was an experiment to see if their style of living is comrpromised by those so called islamists today and a crtique of what the Prophet and his ideas (and by extension the islamic religion) are being viewed in the west in the light of the actions of his followers. What, you thought that they made the turban, which is placed over his head into a bomb for no reason? You don;t think that's suppsoed to signify that they view that his views and beliefs are both dangerous and explosive? And why would they think that ya Ahmad? Is it because they took the time to learn his views and beliefs? Or is it because they see the violence and the mayhem caused by those who call themselves the Mujahedeen and profess doing what they do in the name of allah, Islam and the prophet and no one challenging them or stopping them?

Shown in that light ya basha, one could argue that the intentions behind the cartoons were not to mock the prophet, Islam or muslims, but rather highlight a growing image problem that the whole religion is having because of the actions of its followers as being violent, intolerant and explosive. Sure, the artist could've taken a much lesser controversial route in showing that problem, but he didn't in order to showcase the gravity of the issue: The symbol of Islam is portrayed as explosive because of what Muslims nowadays do. And instead or realizing that, or maybe because it's easier not to take on that issue, we instead chose to attack those who made the cartoon as an offense against every muslims and a mockery of muslims and Islam everywhere, and proceed to go crazy, killing poepole, burning embassies and bombing churches, thus proving the point of the artist to be right and enforcing that stereotype of the prophet thanks to the actions of those muslims worldwide.

I liked your solution because it acknoweldged the flaw in the design: We are not engaged in the war of ideas, and we are not engaging in enough dialogue with those who view us in that way. Your solution said to me : We say that the prophet is sent as a mercy to mankind, well, let's show them how and why. Let's take control of the debate. And I encourage that and stand with you behind that 100%. You don't seem to get that, and I am less and less concerned that you do with every passing minute!

If anything, from your tantrums and your two majors of speech argument, I am starting to doubt the sincirety behind your proposed solutions at all, if you actually believe in them, or believe and follow the examples you listed from the prophet's life of forgivness and sama7ah. You may present it to your audience, but I am not sure you are following them yourself.

But then again, I really don't care if you do or don't- not anymoe anyway. I am not sure we are going to see eye to eye on this, especially that I have tried to reach out to you and provide your point of view as an alternative to my not-small western audience that as you have seen have been dying to view something like it, while you seem to believe that since I don't see things from exactly your persepctive that I need to "wake up". At least I am trying dude, I don't see you doing the same. My mistake though. All apologies for my misconception, and I assure you it will not happen again.

Al Salam 3alaikem we rahmat allh we barakatoh!

 
At 2/12/2006 04:06:00 AM, Blogger Mr Holger said...

You are indeed, doing a good thing, for islam!

I think that the muslim world just torched a LOT of support - and they have gained NO respect for their religion - on the contrary: Islam looks like a dead end; a no future religion, in a western point of view.
Its really VERY hard to follow, what the arab world has been doing here... they look like loosers to me - sorry, but thats the way I feel, and I think, most westerners feel!

As always, your pen is sharp - we need people like you, in this world of ours - I just hope muslims read your writing as well!


Cheers!

 
At 2/12/2006 04:14:00 AM, Anonymous Elora said...

Ahmad,

Unlike Sandmonkey you do not seem to understand the fundamental fact that if you wish people to respect your religion, and your way of life, you must respect their's.

In Denmark, there is a century old tradition for caricatures. Cartoons and drawings, much much worse than the ones of your Prophet, have been published over the years - of everything from politicians and religious figures, to singers, artists and Santa. caricatures are a part of the political and cultural debate, always has been and always will be. An Egyptian newspaper tried to "respond" with pictures of the Danish queen on a bellydancer's body, with the heading "Striptease". If they think something that juvenile will anger people here, then it just goes to show how little the author of said article actually understands. (regardless of the tone in the article itself which, unlike Jyllandsposten's article, was offensive, childish and abusive).

Your ethics and rules are welcome and natural in YOUR country. I would never presume to tell you how to live your life. Please have the courtesy to show the same respect for MY life, MY country and MY ideals of freedom of speech.

 
At 2/12/2006 04:19:00 AM, Anonymous Elora said...

(I meant that for Ahamed, I read your name wrong, my apologies.)

 
At 2/12/2006 04:37:00 AM, Blogger chooseDoubt said...

I’m an atheist and to some Muslims that makes me the enemy. I’m definitely against the spread of Islam and any other religion. So, it’s not without a slight touch of resignation to defeat that I say this – you are absolutely right Mr. The Sand Monkey! If any one wants to defend or spread Islam then that’s the way to do it – not all of this crazy violence because that’s not a faith. That’s a sickness and the rest of the world doesn’t want to get sick too. We don’t want our children growing up with that sickness. It’s absolutely contrary to the way almost all of us Europeans try to live our lives – IN PEACE. And like any serious sickness the response is a desire to quarantine. And if the non-Muslims get scared enough of this sickness then that’s what they will do, that’s what millions already do by becoming more cautious of the Muslims around them in European societies. I see it every day.

I’ve lived in Spain for 5 years. There’s a big Muslim population here. When I first came here the Muslims in the bars I went to, yes bars but most of them didn’t drink, were pretty well integrated. The locals and the immigrants knew each other. They exchanged hellos and how are you’s and told each other jokes. I’m not saying things were entirely right because they weren’t but they were a lot better than today. Now I am the only European male in the bars that talks with Muslim patrons. Why?

Two reasons.

First, people are pissed off that there were the vicious bomb attacks in Madrid and aren’t comfortable sparking up a conversation with someone they think might well want to indiscriminately kill them and their loved ones. Second, people are not so racist or prejudiced. They don’t want to talk to you because if they do then what they want to know first is “are you a crazy vicious blood thirsty European/American hating fanatic or do you agree with the crazies” and we don’t want to say that because then we look racist. Maybe we are racist if that’s what we say, but let’s face it; Islam has been developing its brand in a certain direction quite successfully of late.

So what has all this fanatical flag and butter burning, school girl beheading, plane crashing, train and bus bombing achieved? Has this spread Islamic values, which the very admirable Mr. Egyptian Sand Monkey points out are not being followed by Muslim society at large, or has it just encouraged segregation and the halt of all debate, discussion and learning that people are otherwise free to share?

Wake up please everybody and see that Sand Monkey is right. There doesn’t have to be an issue with people having different beliefs and all people benefit from the free promotion, rejection and ridicule of those beliefs when everybody’s right to do so is accepted in peace. Despite the fact that atheists have been responsible for much less death and violence in the history of the human race, in fact none at all for the sole purpose of spreading atheism, you don’t see us wanting to kill all the faithful even though the faithful have been killing us and our children as heretics and infidels for centuries. A convincing argument is a well reasoned debate, not a well timed bomb.

So chill out please.

Peace and many, many thanks to the Sand Monkey for your wise words. And ps. Is there any way we could organise a rationalist response to this whole cartoon row because I don’t see the media doing it and most people still don’t read blogs? I think it would be quite effective if Muslims, Christians, Hindus, atheists and any other individuals united to give the same message and I for one would like to get involved and do my bit to promote peace in a world that needs it so badly.

 
At 2/12/2006 05:21:00 AM, Blogger AyyA said...

Be ashamed of your Hijab

I look at you with utter pity
Simply because you’re far from witty
For I know what goes inside:
Mythical fears- deprived your mind
A surreal shape is enough to attest
That your brains is under arrest
At your will you are enslaved
To a dogma your group engraved
Your voice under the layers of attire
Replicates your diction- a satire
"O ye women, wrap close your cloak,
So you won't be bothered by ignorant folk",
God doesn't tell you to dress this way,
it’s the beardoos to whom you pray
Oppression for you is a sanctuary
Liberation- a blasphemy
Yes it was given years ago
Check when! If you care to know
Check the sources in history
Not the man-made wana-be
Sure you can climb mountains, cross seas
With a mind loaded trivialities-
You loop in darkness under your gown
“Can I pray with nail polish on?”
God had given us liberty
But man deprived its faculty
For you’re using identity cover
Of lost faith that’s gone forever
Right after the prophet’s death
How could you know that
When you’re deaf!

Btw; just in case your minds wander; I am a Muslim by birth

 
At 2/12/2006 05:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ChooseDoubt said:
"we could organise a rationalist response".

I (from Sweden) think that would be a splendid idea if we could get advise from the muslim world what would be an affective approach.
However, I must confess to seriously doubting that the raving, non-thinking, not-listening parts of the muslims would be open to rational responses.
Rather I fear they would only see any unified wide-spread approach as a further confirmation of their favourite misinterpretation: "everyone is against us!" which would trigger and escalate the conflict.

We cannot change the muslims wiews and behaviours, however harmful to their image, they have to do that themselves and the non-muslims of all religions and beliefs should be open and recognising all small steps in that direction without critisism and sarcasm. Let´s cling on to not being as prejudice as the extremists - even if it is hard in these days.

 
At 2/12/2006 05:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the great Sandmonkey and all the others, this you'll love or hate as much as I also do.

Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest and by far most influential daily in Finland, today writes that a reputed Finnish publishing house due to publish in March the Finnish translation of Barnaby Rogerson's The Prophet Muhammad has abruptly changed the cover. Originally - and still shown in their customer mag just days ago - there was to be an absolutely neutral drawing of Muhammad. The new one includes calligraphy. The publisher comments the timing of the cover "an accident" and "says sorry to the Muslim community". Moreover, a local scholar on Islam who was to write the foreword and whose name is still mentioned on the website of the publisher, stepped down from the project and declines to give comments.

Just some months ago, another publisher here, in a country which shares with Denmark and some others the reputable no. 1 position as what comes to freedom of the press according to Reporters Without Borders, "accidentally" left out the few most provocative sentences in the translation of a book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to see how "accidental" these "accidents" are.

As we all know, the original point of JP publishing the cartoons was to have a debate on self-censorship in the West imposed by the vocal but tiny minority of Muslims (no, no, I've nothing against Islam myself). These incidents are nothing but proof of JP's original claim being right.

Heck, a Finnish publisher should be able to print a neutral drawing of the main character of the book of on its cover.

This is utterly disgusting. Should we start a boycott against the publisher..?

 
At 2/12/2006 06:16:00 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Fantastic post SM! Makes me think there is hope for some day.


And congratulations on the championship.

 
At 2/12/2006 06:23:00 AM, Anonymous BornIn1965 said...

Well said, SandMonkey, well said. However, I too feel that you are wasting your time.........

 
At 2/12/2006 06:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sandmonkey, for another injection of sanity in this miserable episode. I read some of the comments above, and know that there will be other such incidents involving muslims. Just so you know, we have had similar experiences in the US of A, starring homegrown American citizens.

My cousins bought a house. Shortly after they moved in, they started having problems with it. It shifted and had cracks. Their preacher came to visit, and he noticed some decorative tile trim with drawings of FROGS on it in the bathroom. He said the FROGS were EVIL because FROGS were one of the plagues visited on the Egyptians in the Bible. He told them to tear the tile out, and they did.

It didn't work. The concrete in the foundation had been badly mixed, and after much expensive repair to the foundation, the house was fine.

What baffled me is, they did not leave that church. People will do the strangest things because a preacher tells them to do so.

There was a famous incident in about 1978, the "Jonestown Massacre" where over 900 people moved to Guyana and then committed suicide by drinking poisoned purple Koolaid. Well, it was mostly suicide. Some people were tied up and forced to drink, some were injected and some were shot. Children were included.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown

For an American the phrase "drinking the purple Koolaid" means doing something immensely stupid because a fake authority told you so. Americans generally believe in God, and respect the religious traditions of all peoples. They do not, however, respect clerics who try to seduce their congregations into “drinking the purple Koolaid.”

I'm having some trouble posting. If this is a duplicate, please delete it.

Valerie

 
At 2/12/2006 07:39:00 AM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

"PS, to all your happy readers, i'm sorry to disappoint you Guys, but Alhamdolellah(praise to Allah) SM is not a typical guy in the Middle east, he's unique and rare, most of us here are 3 types, trying to be good muslims and try to serve the cause of Islam in the best way they could, or Followers of the western model of life, and those who just don't know anything in life and don't know what are their lives for.."


And your happy about that?

 
At 2/12/2006 08:06:00 AM, Anonymous Jordan said...

What a great artical. Shame no one will listen to it, and crap like this will always happen.
I mean, when I heard about all that was going on the first thing to mind was "If they don't like being called terrorists and murderers they are going the wrong way about it".

 
At 2/12/2006 08:11:00 AM, Anonymous Aslan said...

This is NOT a comment. It is a question.
What percent of Muslims are represented by Ahmad’s perspective and thoughts?
Followed by the percentage of people who perceive the situation as SM does?

Ahmad has brought great sadness upon my heart.
Looks like time is running out.

 
At 2/12/2006 08:25:00 AM, Anonymous Mitch said...

Yasmina, that's the problem in a nutshell. Ahmad really is happy there are so many unthinking fanatics like himself, and so few Sandmonkeys (and Big Pharoahs, and Mesopotamians...). To him, it is a good thing to resort to violence and threats rather than to reason and to setting an example. If Ahmad wants an apology, by all means, let him have one. We have a saying: Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" while reaching for a stick.

Ahmad says:
"Don't you realize that Islam has two majors of speech, one for the non beleivers, and one for the beleivers, they are not contradicting but they are addressing differant issues." So we kufrs should doubt whatever we hear from Ahmad and his kind? That's a great way to foster peaceful relations.

Sandmonkey, I hope you prosper and your point of view takes hold in the Middle East. There are plenty of countries that have modernized without westernizing. India is doing it now. Places like Japan have had as much influence on the west as we have had on them. They are filled with people who think along the same lines as you do. Egypt has a lot to offer the world, but if Ahmad thinks he and his kind can successfully use force to overcome the west, he is inviting disaster.

Now how about kicking the Saudis and their stooges out of Al-Azhar before they create more Ahmads?

 
At 2/12/2006 08:27:00 AM, Blogger D.C. said...

Great post, SandMonkey,
As always, your work is impressive.

I don't understand.
The Danes artists were only expressing their - our - thoughts and fears on paper! Drawing is a natural tool, all kids do it too, humanity has always done it. Muslim children are not permitted to draw their beloved Allah and the Prophet? That is cruel, abusive and rubbish because according to Irshad Manji and the documentation at Metropolitan Museum in NY, it is not specific in the Quran.

I feel my freedom is an hostage of Islam. As a simple human on this planet, a mother, a friend and a modest artist, I perceive our world struggling in a cage, with the majority of Muslims holding the key. I want to draw and paint on this, freely without fear of being "punished" in any way.

Muslims are all under Islam, right? Does Islam through the offensive violent voices of Imams in mosques, represent all Muslims or not? Who dance in the streets and distribute sweets when Westerners fall under acts of terror? If the angry death cult "Islam" appears to be daily, does not represent all Muslims, could please the majority of Muslims rise and do it quick before we are ALL in real trouble?

As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is sad, disappointing & offensive to hear people ask why are they are suddenly targets of Islamists while reminding you that they have always supported Arabs and Palestinians. I guess these people have not realized that intimidation and terror can't ever be justified, no matter who the victim is. The daily attacks and hatred against Americans and Jewish people in the world are not less outrageous than the attack on the Danish embassy and the Danish flags. There is a lot to say on this, fear and hypocrisy are right in our face, once again.

- Islam as a nation and as a groups of nations. -

There are not ONE Islamic democracy where people of all faiths are respected and where you can walk around free to be who ever you are.
That is now everyone's problem in the 20 century.
I want Islam to stop acting like a nation above all nations, where its confusing and absolute authorities cross all borders and threaten freedom in the free world. This is the freedom for which we fought so hard through history.

I dream of an ocean of Muslims - hungry for freedom and angry for something constructive like the terror, the crimes and abuses done by fascists in their name.

I am glad that some artists have finally addressed self-censorship, as provoking and annoying as art can be, when artists become silent; the society is not longer alive.
All creators, poets, writers, musicians, artists, educators, scientists, leaders, no matter the faith, need to be free to do a good job.
Your Islamic governments MUST BE TOLD by Muslims too - not just a little bunch of Westerners - that we are fed up of seeing their money sponsoring terror and horrors in the world in the name of whatever.

Our free societies must to stay free. Together ordinary citizens of any faith could organize a serious protest too, against fascism, terror, fear and religious fanatism. We could, could we?
After all, most of us know what the Danish cartoons were addressing - fear.

- I am of Christian roots, my God & my religion are not above life, nor above law.
Thx.

 
At 2/12/2006 08:46:00 AM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

Its like a freaking cult how different are we becoming from the KKK?.. Like Mitch said Egypt has a lot to offer the world. Problem is religion is going to ruin it because of people like Ahmads and the whole lot of em.

Egypt has become a scared country..A country that is full of frightened people that hide behind a book that most of them don't understand..That's not saying I understand it completely but I don't walk around preaching to everyone all day and night..None of them are willing to stand up for human rights..Instead they have become violent and manipulative..The problems in Egypt have become endless. There needs to be separation from religion and state in Egypt or I swear the place is going to crumble to the ground..They've become so obsessed that they are blind now..They refuse to believe that there is a better way..They refuse to believe that things can be done peacefully.The refuse to belive that other religions can exist along side Islam..They also don't realize that with out the west and the so called infidels most of them would be jobless and penniless. Wait till the next problem happens and they ban Everything American..They won't be able to survive it..Like SM had said before how many of them are willing to give up their Benz when its called for..Egyptians need to stop being followers and actually look at the whole problem..Go to the source of the problem..And stop using Allah and the Prophet as a an excuse for all the stupid things we do..That's more disrespectful than any cartoon from where I stand..

 
At 2/12/2006 09:28:00 AM, Anonymous Amr Abbas said...

My respects

 
At 2/12/2006 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Philipp Krieg said...

I wish Egypt would be a light through this endless gulf between 'civilized people' and midle-east.

As you say, dear Sandmonkey, Islam would be much more efficient in its spreading if you muslims act like Quran says... if its interpretation would be much more reasonable than it is today by this so called minority.

But how big is this minority? The whole west is facing a crescent problem called Ahmadinejad and the attempt to create a mass destruction weapon. The whole west is watching through their satellite TVs the gathering of muslims to protest this cartoons with violence. The west has already counted the deaths and the damage that muslims have undertook to its own people and foreign embassies. The west have seen for a long long time the intolerance against people of other beliefs in the Islam-ruled countries. So far heaps of christian missionaries where killed by the hands of those who claim the Islam is the religion of peace, democracy and wisdom. I PERSONALLY met some christians that have been tourtured by muslims in Palestine and Egypt. They fled back to their home frightened to death! And so you say this muslim scholar said the "Islam is the religion of Peace, Islam is the religion of Knowledge, Islam is the religion of Democracy...." (?????)

How is that my friend??

The reason to the Islam being misunderstood by the west is quite clear. We don't want a religion that incites violence under our territory. And that image was built by this "minority". The minority that gather crowds on our TV.

The Ahmad solution is great. If you'd like to build another Islam's image, you muslims must accomplish such idea. And above of all, you must do your homework!

Peace and tolerance!

 
At 2/12/2006 12:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog via Big Pharaoh and I'm enjoying reading it. It's always good to get another point of view on issues like these (plus, I have always loved Egypt, though the state of modern Egypt saddens me deeply).

I just want to point out that you've misused the term "racism." Islam is not a race, therefore there cannot be racism against it.

Keep blogging! We need more rational voices speaking out.

 
At 2/12/2006 01:52:00 PM, Blogger EgOiStE said...

I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art. --Kahlil Gibran

 
At 2/12/2006 02:00:00 PM, Anonymous IreneDelse said...

Hi! I found your blog through Big Pharaoh too, and I think it's great. I love the humour and intelligent posting, it definitely makes me feel better about humanity in general. Muslims or christians or even atheists, we are all crazy people, sometimes, but also capable of thinking like angels if only we want to.

Go Sandmonkey!

Oh, and congrats to Egypt for winning the Cup, too ;-)

 
At 2/12/2006 02:24:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

I'm a Christian. I am absolutely forbidden to use even verbal violence against another human being. Except when there is absolutely no other way to deal with a direct threat. I must turn my cheek repeatedly and give away my very clothes if asked. I am to turn away wrath with kind words. I am commanded to feed the hungry and help the poor. This IS the basic ethic of the West. Though we live in the post christian age .... the values above are still embedded within us.

This is very very hard to do. Human beings are naturally selfish and violent. When a western man is pushed and threatened he tries and tries to not respond in kind and this builds up a tension. Finally he decides in the cases of extreme provocation that force must be resisted with force. When the dam breaks there is often a surprising rush of what had been highly restrained power.

Here in America our president told us that Islam is a religion of peace after 9/11. Now we know this was total bullshit designed to keep us from throttling every Muslim we could get our hands on. I want to sincerely speak to every Muslim reading this blog. We have so totally had it with you guys. The dam is about to break. I want you to think of Dresden .... Nagasaki and Hiroshima. No we probably won't drop any nukes on you (except for Iran) but you'll think we have.

I'm not talking about our government making war upon you. I'm talikng about our citizenry turning on every Muslim in every western city and town. I'm talking about our industry developing alternative energy sources and leaving you with oil you can't sell. We are about 'this close' to getting rid of these dangerous fanatics who worship a god of death in our midst and building a big fence around Arabia behind which you can starve and murder each other to your heart's content.

I'm not saying we are there yet. It's SO close though. Recently you saw us poor out billions of our dollars for the Tsunami victims and the Pakistani quake victims. I heard many americans grumbling about this. Why are we helping those crazy bastards was the jist of the talk. Personally I think our governments willingness to extend courtesy and dollars to hostile nations filled with hostile people is totally a false front. Most Americans are sick of it. A time is coming when our politicians will not have the courage to send our tax dollars to people who want us dead. If the fanatic Islamists want to be totally alone and isolated on this earth they are soon to get their wish.

 
At 2/12/2006 02:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a hero, Sandmonkey. And in contrast to some of the other posters here, I'm sure that you're not at all wasting your time. Keep up the good work! All best from Norway

 
At 2/12/2006 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Hershblogger said...

*quote
Actually, I am aiding the cause of Islam "by what I am doing more than anything you’ve ever done."
*endquote

Exactly. When your critics figure that out the world will be a better place.

Thank you.

Stay safe.

 
At 2/12/2006 03:50:00 PM, Anonymous X.Martin-Dupont said...

Deception or manipulation ?

According a blog counterterrorism.org, some faked cartoon truly offensive (much more than those published in te danish paper have been inserted among the original one's by fundamentalists to upset muslim people :

See here the original article :

Fabricated cartoons worsened Danish controversy

The controversy over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed is expanding, as more Muslims join the boycott and protests against Denmark and various European newspapers decide to publish the cartoons, mostly out of solidarity with Jyllands Posten and to make a strong political stand. One issue that puzzles many Danes is the timing of this outburst. The cartoons were published in September: Why have the protests erupted from Muslims worldwide only now? The person who knows the answer to this question is Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, a man that the Washington Post has recently profiled as “one of Denmark's most prominent imams.”

Last November, Abu Laban, a 60-year-old Palestinian who had served as translator and assistant to top Gamaa Islamiya leader Talaal Fouad Qassimy during the mid-1990s and has been connected by Danish intelligence to other Islamists operating in the country, put together a delegation that traveled to the Middle East to discuss the issue of the cartoons with senior officials and prominent Islamic scholars. The delegation met with Arab League Secretary Amr Moussa, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi, and Sunni Islam’s most influential scholar, Yusuf al Qaradawi. "We want to internationalize this issue so that the Danish government will realize that the cartoons were insulting, not only to Muslims in Denmark, but also to Muslims worldwide," said Abu Laban.

On its face, it would appear as if nothing were wrong. However, the Danish Muslim delegation showed much more than the 12 cartoons published by Jyllands Posten. In the booklet it presented during its tour of the Middle East, the delegation included other cartoons of Mohammed that were highly offensive, including one where the Prophet has a pig face. But these additional pictures were NOT published by the newspaper, but were completely fabricated by the delegation and inserted in the booklet (which has been obtained and made available to me by Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet). The delegation has claimed that the differentiation was made to their interlocutors, even though the claim has not been independently verified. In any case, the action was a deliberate malicious and irresponsible deed carried out by a notorious Islamist who in another situation had said that “mockery against Mohamed deserves death penalty.” And in a quintessential exercise in taqiya, Abu Laban has praised the boycott of Danish goods on al Jazeera, while condemning it on Danish TV.

http://forum.subversiv.com/redirect.php?url=14390

The other's cartoon's have been published on a web forum called subversive

http://forum.subversiv.com/index.php?id=147485

It's quite difficult to believe that anybody could even confused those piece of crap with the original's cartoons - even if you don't agree with the author sense of humor or think they are offensensive for muslim communauty. But if the story is true we can know uderstand why some muslim have reacted in such a violent way among the world

Is anybody is aware of that storie ?

So proff of a manipulation from islamist fundamentalist or manipulation for a third party ?

 
At 2/12/2006 03:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done - Easily the smartist commentary I've seen from a muslim source. I think you missed the role that many western politicians such as Bill Clinton and UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had in legitimising the view that these were highly offensive cartoons, which really shouldn't have been printed and therefore warranted mass, but peaceful deomonstrations. It was this type of tolerant view that led the British police to not arrest the 100-200 high profile protesters with clearly illegal "behead the cartoonists" type posters which of course were the really damaging images from the point of view of Britain's 1.5m muslims.

Wade
London

 
At 2/12/2006 04:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A challange
to all cartoon makers and preachers of freedom of speech in Europe.

Do you feel the courage to make some cartoons of Jew's GOD?

One suggestion "Jewish GOD holding a gun in his hands, pointing it to a Palestinian child with a stone in his hand."

 
At 2/12/2006 05:50:00 PM, Blogger yochanan said...

anon. easy to do just take any newspaper from saudi arabia i am sure you will find one that is anti semitic.

 
At 2/12/2006 05:54:00 PM, Blogger Dana said...

Hello from Indianapolis, IN, USA. Good post! I only disagree with that bit about suing people... Don't lawyers make enough money suing about things like scratches on iPods without hiring them the sue more people?

Dana
http://www.angrytoyrobot.blogspot.com

PS - I'm Christian, and I'm gay and I'm not a friend of Bush (FOB)

 
At 2/12/2006 07:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent post -
a Founding Scientologist

 
At 2/12/2006 08:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandmonkey,

I've found your blog some days ago over the whole cartoon crisis and have been reading it (more or less) regularly since then. This post is really outstanding. Your voice should be heard by far more people in the world. Actually, I'm doubtful that your blog has many readers in the Islamic world. If I'm wrong there, all the better.

I'm not surprised that some people like to point out that you represent a minority opinion in the middle east. All the more I feel the necessity to support you, be it just with posting a little comment. But hope springs eternal, therefore I want to believe that there is a chance that people like you will pave the way to an enlightened Islam in the future.

Here in Germany, there was a major talk show on TV a week ago which asked the question "can the clash of cultures still be avoided?". It makes me really sad to see how far we've come. After all, it's probably in the nature of human beings to act like fools. This always makes me think of one of the theories I've read years ago explaining why we haven't found extraterrestrial intelligent life yet: because whenever a civilization of lifeforms reaches a certain level of evolution, it will eventually extinguish itself due to wars, ecological disasters etc. Not that I'm assuming that this will happen anytime soon now, but when I read some of the opinions posted, a potential WW3/4 doesn't look like something completely out of question. Everybody should calm down now. I think it would be very hard to break the vicious circle of violence once we entered it.

Sorry for that little rant. ;)

 
At 2/12/2006 08:15:00 PM, Anonymous Calabogie boozer said...

Hi,SM:

Being a Catholic Christian, hatred is not my bag;in fact God (Jesus Christ) has told us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us and to prayer for those who persecute and calumniate us. I admit, however to being slightly confused: if becoming a "martyr" for the prophet (sorry,but I cannot capitalize that word in this instance)by blowing innocent victims and oneself to bits and thereby obtaining eternal nookie is such a great deal, why aren't all the Imams and mullahs doing it?

 
At 2/12/2006 08:27:00 PM, Blogger Christine said...

This is in tune with Scott's comment above.

Regardless of the "bad rap" that American's get in some circles, we are a peaceful loving country. We do go out of our way to help those in need around the world, whether they like us or not. The majority of our citizens are not isolationists. We feel that a world where everybody can get along is best for the world. Freedom and human rights are what we stand for and not just for ourselves. Watching those is other countries who are being terrorised and oppressed, hurts our hearts.

We can be gullible or naive to a point in regards to seeing who our enemy is. This fault comes about because we believe in seeing the best in people. But if we do see the signs finally, we have no choice but to call it what we see it.

We had to fight to get our freedoms and we will fight to keep them. We are now seeing the signs and for those who do not see themselves as our enemy, now is the time for you to stand up and show yourself. At this point we have no choice but to be cautious.

 
At 2/12/2006 09:20:00 PM, Blogger Redjac said...

A really good post.

Redajc

 
At 2/12/2006 09:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:53,

"Do you feel the courage to make some cartoons of Jew's GOD?"

Ok, we got one guy who thinks Mohamed is God and another guy who thinks Jesus is God.

We're doomed. Maybe the old versions of polytheism were better?

 
At 2/12/2006 10:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandmonkey, you are a bastion of reason in sea of vitriolic rhetoric. You give me hope for the future of Islam.

I am going to link to your blog on my small, pathetic family blog (http://spaces.msn.com/tortmaster/PersonalSpace.aspx?_c02_owner=1&_c=), which might send an additional dozen or so readers your way. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

 
At 2/13/2006 12:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope ur words will be going out in the world written on arabic too.... It is needed for the minority to be included with you wise words....

 
At 2/13/2006 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good read - I think there's a word missing from para 2 The Legal action solution:

Not only will that solution provide you your revenge, it will ensure that the Newspaper, or anyone else who heard of it, would *never* do such a thing again out of fear of such an onslaught of lawsuits.

 
At 2/15/2006 12:30:00 PM, Blogger marin_explorer said...

I am glad that some artists have finally addressed self-censorship, as provoking and annoying as art can be, when artists become silent; the society is not longer alive.

D.C--
I completely agree. Success is very difficult without unfettered freedom of expression. This applies to every field of study, whether in business, science, or the arts. If we refuse to hear unpleasant viewpoints, someday we won't be prepared for unpleasant realities.

 
At 2/15/2006 07:08:00 PM, Blogger patrick said...

"A challange to all cartoon makers and preachers of freedom of speech in Europe.

Do you feel the courage to make some cartoons of Jew's GOD?"

That's funny. According to Quran
Muhammed's God *was* the "Jews' God", The God of Abraham and Moses and the one who sent Jesus (Issa PBUH).

"One suggestion "Jewish GOD holding a gun in his hands, pointing it to a Palestinian child with a stone in his hand." "

Here's a suggestion - if GOD/Allah/YHWH is Jewish, is he circumcized? If he's doing that, is GOD/Allah/YHWH a Zionist? ... That might explain why Isreal won all those wars with the Arabs.

 
At 2/17/2006 06:22:00 PM, Blogger Hiraethin said...

As usual, Sandmonkey rantings = entertaining + thoughtful. Well done.

 

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